A filly and a colt were sent of as favourites in Seoul and Busan’s first Stakes race for this year’s two-year old crop. And a filly and a colt won. However, while the colt in question did the business at Busan on Sunday afternoon, a day earlier in the capital it was a different filly taking the acclaim.
Cheoneun (Forest Camp) had strolled through her three previous starts and came into the Gwacheon City Mayor’s Cup the red-hot favourite. And in a torrential downpour, it looked as though she was going to live up to that billing as, under Park Tae Jong, she bounced straight out of the gate and into what seemed both a comfortable and commanding lead.
Having won at seven furlongs before, there was no reason to think that Cheoneun would tire over just six. However, on the sloppy track, that’s exactly what happened and the beneficiary was Dolpung Jilju (Didyme) who slowly wore down the favourite before passing her in the final furlong to record victory by half a length. Dolpung Jilju, another filly, was winning for the third time on her fourth start. Four lengths adrift of Cheoneun was the first colt home in the shape of Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire).
There were no such problems down at Busan today for Gyeongbudaero (Menifee). Happy to let others set the pace, the Choi Si Dae set Gyeongbudaero loose in the home straight and he made short order of the field to win by a length and a half going away. Nathan Stanley grabbed second place on Peter Wolsley’s filly Nuriui Bit while another filly, Sing A (Fortitude) was third.
Gyeongbudaero translates as “Road from Busan to Seoul” – it is likely that the colt will be travelling up that very road at the end of next month for the Breeders’ Cup where he’ll meet Seoul’s fillies to decide just who is Champion Juvenile of 2011.
Gwacheon City Mayor’s Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1200M October 15, 2011
1. Dolpung Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Alder Gulch (Gulch)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 8.2, 1.9
2. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp – Naha (Silver Buck)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.1
3. Jigeum I Sungan (KOR) [Ingrandire – Solmaru (Mujaazif)] – Kim Dong Chul – 1.6
Distances: 0.5 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Viva Cat 5. Spin Up 6. Ft. Silver 7. Rocket Sox 8. Ubin Teukgeup NR. Mighty Hong Kong
Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – October 16, 2011
1. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Labique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.3, 1.0
2. Nuriui Bit (KOR) [Menifee – Altria (Maria’s Mon)] – Nathan Stanley – 2.1
3. Sing A (KOR) [Fortitude – Seollimwon (Wheaton)] – Kim Dong Young – 4.7
Distances: 1.75 lengths/0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Over Power 5. Good Time 6. Predict 7. Uddukseon 8. Baekho Janggun 9. Super Grand 10. Daejiui Gamdong NR. Innofast
* Also at Busan this afternoon Mister Park (Ecton Park) continued his record-breaking streak. With Japanese jockey Akane Yamamoto on board for the first time, the four-year old extended his winning streak to a remarkable seventeen races. In this latest victory, Mister Park crushed a small field of foreign bred horses by five lengths without working up much of a sweat.
Mister Park is not a horse that has been given the respect one might expect for a Grand Prix winner and a horse who has won more consecutive races than any other in Korean history. Being stabled at Busan contributes to this (not the fault of Busan – it’s better than Seoul but it doesn’t get the same exposure) and also a perception that he has been kept away from the toughest challenges (or campaigned sensibly, if you like).
It’s unfair, but it’s a fact. What’s also a fact is that we are only two months away from the Mister Park’s defence f the Grand Prix. If he comes to Seoul – as he surely will – and if he successfully defends his title, no-one will be disrespecting Mister Park.